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QOTW: TV License or Netflix?

by Parm Mann on 6 April 2018, 16:31

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There were plenty of opinions when we asked whether or not the TV license should be abolished, but that was over two years ago, and plenty has changed since then.

Customers today have a greater choice of viewing platforms, with streaming giants such as Amazon and Netflix becoming hugely popular in a relatively short space of time. At the turn of the year, Netflix recorded a staggering 117 million paying subscribers around the world, including over 6.5 million in the UK.

In contrast, almost a million Brits are cancelling their TV license each year, with 788,605 people choosing not to renew in 2017. The three years prior to that saw TV license cancellations of 817,509, 875,169, and 945,751, respectively.

Responding to the threat, the BBC's latest annual plan reflects on today's global media environment by claiming it is "more and more dominated by a small number of US-based media giants with extraordinary creative and financial firepower." Citing "huge budgets" as a reason for the BBC being "squeezed out," the broadcasting giant suggests that "British creativity and British content are now under real threat," and plans to fight back with a reinvention of iPlayer and iPlayer Radio.

But what do consumers actually prefer? Netflix currently costs £119.88 for a 12-month premium subscription, and in the past week the TV license fee has increased to £150.50, up from £147 last year. We reckon now's a good time to revisit the topic, so for our latest QOTW we're asking: TV License or Netflix? If you had to choose just one, which would it be?

HEXUS Forums :: 63 Comments

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Given that I don't give a monkey's about films and mostly watch BBC programmes anyway, I get far better value from the BBC than I would from Netflix.
Same for me, our telly rarely goes off the beeb, whether it's cbeebies for the boy or beeb1 for us. It does get switched off, it's just when it's on, it's on those. We don't watch telly all the time, we're not monsters…

Saying that, Altered Carbon was very good, if they keep doing things like that, the balance may shift…
Netflix simply has more content I personally find interesting, be it shows or films (or more recently the Manga binge I've been on). Luckily, having my parents now live with me, means I don't have to pay for the rubbish television license as it's now free (over 75s get some perks). The only thing that the BBC does okay, is Radio 4, hate to say it but that isn't worth £150 a year with a plethora of other content providers available.

Guess it's all subjective, but the draconian way in which the BBC has been funded is now a pretty defunct model when the alternatives work well. I do have to wonder at how much money has been wasted by the beeb over the years though, instead of providing truly new original content that keeps pace with society.
Given that I don't give a monkey's about films and mostly watch BBC programmes anyway, I get far better value from the BBC than I would from Netflix.

This - with bells on!
I did this for several years where I had Amazon Prime. I didn't miss the idiot box one bit. I spend the money on a decent PC set up with a decent monitor and speakers. I also made sure I was totally above board with regards to legal acquisition of media to ensure it was a realistic experiment. The end result?
1) I didn't miss a single thing about the TV.
2) The BBC shows I wanted were (not anymore as it closed) available to download on the BBC store for a small fee.
3) The overall result was a slight saving over the TV licence fee.
4) I now resent having to pay towards a TV licence now I have moved in with my fiance as frankly, I find the content to be a net negative rather than positive.

When I was choosing shows off Amazon or watching stuff on Youtube it was intelligent stuff (either shows or lectures or debates, whatever) that actually added to my knowledge base and gave me something to think about. The stuff on TV most of the time is just burning away your evenings without actually gaining anything from it. It's literally wasting your life. Sometimes you do need that in order to relax but to do it all evening, every evening it's just filling the time between now and when you die.

The BBC needs to grow up. It comes from a time when the infrastructure for broadcast was so expensive (hell, most of it needed inventing from scratch) that only government could afford it. It's the same with flight and space travel. Now we have civilian aircraft and private companies planning trips to other planets. Yet the BBC still lives in a land of what's effectively a tax. If you don't have a TV and don't pay it you get some seriously threatening letters. If they turn up at your door they'll issue you with a police caution (no legal punch behind it, it's an intimidation tactic…. y'know, like the Mafia use when they want people to pay up) and start implying the police will break your door down. They need to be taught a lesson and that lesson is you will not extort money from OAPs who don't want or need a TV. That and you're now going to compete on the same grounds as everyone else for business. If people don't want BBC and channel 4 (public funded also) then they don't have to have it and can still have sky, etc.

It's an outdated model from a business that has taken things too far.